The Health Care sector (XLV) held steady during a trading day that saw the S&P 500 grow 0.3%.

Although it went in the opposite direction of the market today, the ETF tracked closer to the overall market today than over the past month. Entering today's trading, XLV was up 7.4% over the last thirty trading days while the S&P 500 was up 6.5%.

Theravance (THRX) was a significant gainer in the sector, rising 11.2%. The stock closed at $24.71 with 1.4 million shares moving. The stock traded in a range of $23 to $24.72. Shares have been on on the rise over the past month, climbing $5.92 (31.5%) from a price of $18.79 on June 1, 2012. Acorda Therapeutics (ACOR) also gained today, climbing $1.49 (+6.3%) to close at $25.05.

IRIDEX Corporation (IRIX) was a major loser in the sector, falling 10.1% (-42 cents) to close at $3.75 with 5,675 shares moving. The stock traded between $3.50 and $4.09.

Anika Therapeutics (ANIK) rose 9.4% to close at $14.87, cross its 50-day moving average of $13.75 and 200-day moving average of $12.26. Life Technologies (LIFE) declined 2.5% to close at $43.85, moving below its 50-day moving average of $42.76 and 200-day moving average of $44.31.

3SBio (EXAC) fell 3.8% to close at $13.13, moving closer to its 50-day moving average of $12.89. Also, the stock moved closer to its 200-day moving average of $16.19. Atrion Corporation (ATRI) rose 1.6% to close at $208.20, getting closer to its 200-day moving average or $220.51.

Incyte Corporation (INCY) hit a new 52-week high today, reaching $25.09 to top the previous high of $24.30.